Sixers vs. Bobcats, 7 p.m. CSN
Sixers 7 over Bobcats
The Sixers took the last two matchups against the Bobcats, including a 98-89 victory in Charlotte on Feb. 13 that pushed the Sixers to 20-9 for the season. Since that last trip to Charlotte, the Sixers have gone 5-11. In fact, the Sixers went into a tailspin immediately after the game in Charlotte by dropping five in a row headed into the All-Star break.
Sixers: 25-20 (First in the Atlantic Division; fourth place in the Eastern Conference).
Bobcats: 7-36 (Fifth place in Southeast Division; 15th place in Eastern Conference).
The Sixers dropped their third game in a row on Saturday night, losing 89-80 to the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls. The Sixers lost despite a strong opening quarter in which they scored the first 11 points of the game and led by 13 points at the end of the opening frame. However, the Sixers scored just 56 points after the first quarter, a stat best illustrated by the fast-break points. In the first quarter the Sixers had 12 fast-break points, but got seven in the final 36 minutes.
The Bobcats are coming off a rare win, beating the Raptors 107-103 in which three players scored at least 20-plus points. Since the All-Star break the Bobcats are 3-8, which is their best stretch of basketball of the season.
Jrue Holiday notched the first 30-point game for the Sixers this season as well as the first since Elton Brand scored 33 points against the Knicks on Feb. 4, 2011. Holiday needed 27 shots to get his 30 points and has missed 27 shots in the last two games, going 16 for 43.
The 27 shots taken by Holiday on Saturday night are the most by a Sixer since Nov. 27, 2006 when Allen Iverson took 37 shots in a 45-point performance in Miami.
I didnt know I took that many shots. Then again, I guess I had to, said Holiday, who also had a game-high five assists. I guess it was the fight in me trying to keep us in it.
Gerald Henderson (24), D.J. Augustin (23) and Corey Maggette (21), had big games for the Bobcats in a win over the Raptors, Saturday night. Maggette has back-to-back 21-point games and had 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting against the Sixers on Feb. 13.
The Sixers desperately need a win after dropping three straight. With just 21 games remaining in the season, the Sixers grip on the Atlantic Division is tenuous at best. The Celtics are trailing by just 1 games in the Atlantic Division while the Knicks have snuck back to within four games of first place. A win is especially important since the Sixers face the Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night before hosting the Celtics on Friday night.
From there, the Sixers hit the road for a game against the Southwest-leading San Antonio Spurs next Sunday.
The Bobcats are actually on the cusp of avoiding some embarrassing history. Should they lose out, the 7-59 record would be percentage points worse than the 9-73 mark by the Sixers in 1972-73, recognized as the worst season in NBA history. One more win by the Bobcats over the final 21 games gets them off the hook.
Spencer Hawes (Achilles) played 22 minutes against the Bulls on Saturday and is expected to start again on Monday night.
Craig Brackins (stomach) was inactive against the Bulls but reported on Twitter that he is feeling better.
Charlotte has no injuries to report.